Monday, March 14, 2016

Is It Better To Know or To Trust?

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. - Genesis 3:1-5

We're all familiar with the story.  God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden, a literal paradise with flowing waters and fruit-bearing plants.  And in that garden, there was one rule:  Don't eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Everything else was at their disposal.  There was nothing that they lacked.  And as long as they fulfilled that one command, their paradise would never end.

Enter Satan, who refuses to stand by and allow God's children to live trouble-free.  In his soothing, subtle words, he convinces Eve that the tree is safe and that the only reason God didn't want them to eat from it was because then they would become equal with God.  Funny thing, there was just enough truth in Satan's statement to make Eve stop and wonder.  Wonder what it would be like to be God.  Wonder what it would be like to know everything.  I think it's safe to say, in a sense, that Satan appealed to one of humanity's weakest points:  the need to know.

Let's face it, we like to be in the know, don't we?  What's happening today?  What's scheduled for tomorrow?  Next week?  Next year?  We want to know.  What's the matter with us?  What's causing those nasty headaches and spells of nausea? We run to the doctor.  Why?  Because we need to know.  What's going on in the news?  Who's playing in the finals?  What kind of future will my children have?  No matter the question or even the severity of the issue, we feel the need to know the answer.  And in that, we face the same decision Eve faced on that cursed day in Eden.

Eve had two choices:  (1) She could trust God and believe that He knew what was best for her (2) She could not trust God and find out for herself what it was like to be in the know.  She made her choice and quickly discovered that knowing wasn't all that great after all.  In fact, she came to know far more than she ever wanted to.  The pain of childbirth.  The toil and hardship of having to provide for themselves.  The grief of losing a child (actually two when you consider that God sent Cain away).  The guilt of making poor decisions.  Yes, Eve was definitely in the know, but it wasn't all that she had hoped it would be.

What about us?  Do we really need to know everything that our future holds?  Would we be happy if we knew?  Or would we do best simply to make the choice that Eve didn't--the choice to trust that God knows what's best for us and that He'll work all things out according to His perfect will?  I think I know what Eve would say.

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